DT 27746 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27746

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27746

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****

The weather now has the suggestion of change about it. We are still having mainly warm sunny days, but we are getting some rain at times now and the mornings have the feeling of “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.
We had a load of firewood arrive this morning, ready for cosy winter evenings in front of the fire coming up. Looking forward to our Wednesday homework arriving at 11am instead of 1pm when the clocks get rescheduled in a few weeks.
Another fine offering from our consistent quality setter, Jay. Took us a while to get into the top few, but it flowed smoothly after that.

Please leave a comment telling us what you think of today’s puzzle.


1a     Give a porter tips? Right! (11)
PREROGATIVE : An anagram (tips) of GIVE A PORTER. (An interesting anagram indicator).

9a     Country scheduled to follow the French embargo (7)
LEBANON : A two letter word meaning scheduled follows French definite article and a word for prohibition.

10a     Red version of Taoism (6)
MAOIST: An anagram (version of) TAOISM.

12a     Penny, with help on holiday, is financially settled (4,3)
PAID OFF : Abbreviation for a small coin, a three letter word for help and a word for on holiday or not working.

13a     Bill left with Vichy water — such a theatrical scene! (7)
TABLEAU : A mainly North American word for a bill, then L(eft) and the French word for water.

14a     Risks unbounded wrath (5)
ANGER : Take a word that means risks and remove the first and last letters.

15a     Edison worried about pitch being legally authenticated (9)
NOTARISED : An anagram (worried) of EDISON has pitch (the black stuff) included in it.

17a     Books hotel and runs into workers of the soil (9)
THRILLERS : A description of workers of the soil has H(otel) and R(uns) included.

20a     True origin of magic kingdom (5)
REALM : A synonym for true and the first letter of magic.

22a     Mature returns collected by curious bunch (7)
NOSEGAY : A three letter word meaning to mature is reversed inside a word meaning rudely curious.

24a     Garland often so properly arranged (7)
FESTOON : Garland is a verb here. An anagram (properly arranged) of OFTEN SO.

25a     Study account mainly relating to canines (6)
DENTAL : These canines are not dogs per se. A synonym for study and a word for an account or story lacking its last letter.

26a     Ceremonial dress of royal diva oddly going missing (7)
REGALIA : A word meaning royal and then the two even letters of diva.

27a     Order a rib after rise (5,2,4)
STAND AT EASE : The first word is a verb meaning to rise or get to ones feet, then when split 5,1,5, A from the clue and a word meaning rib (or guy as was used in a puzzle last week.)


2d     Bitterness enlisted soldier voiced (7)
RANCOUR : This is a homophone of a name for an enlisted soldier.

3d     Call dealer to guarantee and protect funds (4-5)
RING-FENCE : A word for a telephone call then a dealer in stolen goods.

4d     Pull up to take in a mark giving range (5)
GAMUT : A from the clue and M(ark) are inserted into a reversed word meaning pull.

5d     Screen facility of excessively liberal lawyers (7)
TOOLBAR : Think of a computer screen. An adverb meaning extremely, then L(iberal) and a collective term for lawyers.

6d     Approves personality offering service (7)
VESPERS : It’s hiding in the first two words of the clue.

7d     Huge and bulky, the plane flies in, on time at last (11)
ELEPHANTINE : An anagram (flies) of THE PLANE, then IN from the clue and the last letter of time.

8d     Going out for example, storing books at home (6)
EBBING : The abbreviation meaning for example has the abbreviation for book (twice) and a word for at home included.

11d     Basic principle of a thought underpinning cash reserve (11)
FUNDAMENTAL : A from the clue and a synonym of thought when used as an adjective, are below a word for a cash reserve.

16d     Specialist unit‘s tense request on behalf of Church (4,5)
TASK FORCE : Start with T(ense), add request, a three letter word for on behalf of, and the abbreviation for the Anglican Church.

18d     Show consideration for particular detail (7)
RESPECT : A double definition.

19d     Reduce one in length, possibly (7)
LIGHTEN : An anagram (possibly) of LENGTH includes the Roman One.

20d     Steps down, concerned with omens (7)
RESIGNS : The two letter abbreviation for concerned with, then a synonym for omens.

21d     A survey on old American space mission (6)
APOLLO : A from the clue, then a survey usually with political connotations and then O(ld).

23d     Put up volunteers for Second World War conference (5)
YALTA : The reversal of a word meaning put or place, and volunteer soldiers.

Today our vote goes to the cleverly hidden 6d.

Quickie pun (and it really had us beak scratching)  thick + rate + wins = The Kray Twins

92 comments on “DT 27746

  1. Thank you 2 Kiwis and Jay

    I also had the hidden word clue 6d listed as my favourite. I quite liked 19d as well (reduce one in length..) where I first (somewhat stupidly) had entered shorten. Not much else really stood out for me, and there were a few old friends.

    Last ones in were 22a (mature returns) and 23d (WWII conference). This took place immediately after another WWII conference in Malta, which was enough to mislead me.
    I was happy to see a question mark after the anagram indicator “tips” in 1a.

    Many thanks

    1. I did the same with 19d – I even got as far as thinking that it wasn’t very cryptic . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  2. I found this tough going in places,completely missed the hidden word in 6 D until the very end, I also got a fixation with rib eye steak a result of buying two from the local store this morning, but I managed to complete without the need for clues. Many thanks to the setter & the 2 Kiwis for the review.

      1. Come now big dave. Surely after a successful pass of the across clues some of the downs can be put in with out referral to the clues. 3d and 6d for example 7d? what else fits?

      2. It is perfectly possible to complete without clues. Just as long as you don’t mind that your answers are different from the published ones.

  3. I enjoyed this one – not too difficult and not too easy. No dodgy clues! 2*/4* for me today.

  4. The usual quality puzzle from Jay that was well clued and reasonably straightforward to solve. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay **/****

  5. Enjoyed this one. Completely missed the hidden clue in 6d. Known in our household as “EXPLETIVE, it’s one of those!”

  6. Having missed the hidden word at 28ac yesterday and not noticing today’s lurker i can only surmise that I caught whatever not finding hidden words is called of Kath when we met in London recently. As usual from Jay a nice puzzle. 7d should have appeared at 11d as it is 11 letters long and there are 11 letters in the clue

      1. I know a lot about the indiginous tribes of Amazonia using a slash and burn system to clear an area of forest for planting Cassava. The ash provides nutrients to the soil. A cassava crop takes 12 – 18 months to become ready for harvest and only about two crops are possible before the soil is exhausted of nutrients. So a new area is slashed and burnt whils the original area reverts back to forest. This is a sustainable activity which has been carried out for centuries. It also occupies the time of all family members.

        1. Shouldn’t they be occupying their time doing the DT crossword instead of messing about in the forest ?

        2. I love the things you learn here. Is this something that could be achievable on a larger scale? Fran does have a point. At some point the kids need to learn the fine art of cross wording.

          I’m hoping that you are going to Borneo at some point. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          1. Don’t even think about my kids learning the fine art of crosswording – see later comment. I give up!!

      2. It is no fun trying to edit and finish an essay with a kitten scattering stuff across the desk and walking on the keyboard so I have decided to take a break and teach Itchy to whistle along to Van Morrisons Moondance live from the last show we went to in December. Progress is non existant.

        1. Teaching a kitten to whistle V an essay on mass migration? It’s a tough one.

          How are the terrible twins?

          1. A per the avatar. That one is Itchy. Tomorrow it will be scratchy. Do you remember the harmony hairspray girl in the old adverts? Is sh? Isn’t she wearing hairspray. She is in my pub tonight. how strange.

            1. The twins are adorable, but did they draw themselves when they were walking over the keyboard?

              She stopped ‘joggers’. Never did find out if she ‘was’.?

              1. It is clearly a photo rather than a drawing Hanni. No way of telling whether it is a selfie. Cats are better at taking photos than holding pencils, because pencils are for batting about. Beware the evolution of opposable thumbs in felines though…

    1. I go one better – I still work in Word Perfect for DOS! Bet you don’t know anyone else who does.

    2. I’m now completely lost (just for a change) – don’t know what Vista, Word Perfect or DOS is – I suspect this will not surprise anyone . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      1. These are computer operating systems that people who use Apple computers don’t need to worry about. The pic that we had used from Google Images is actually of a Vista toolbar which is now very outdated. Hope that helps.

      2. Vista is an old Microsoft operating system. If you look at the pic for 5d you can just see it at the top.

        DOS is disk operating system, an even older Microsoft program.

        Apple products have their own operating systems.

      3. Thanks Kiwis and Hanni – that means that I only have to worry if BD spots the dreaded Apple word – as long as this slips under his radar I’m off the hook – if I’m not here tomorrow who knows where I am – beheaded or excommunicated or something else that’s awful probably! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. BD. I’m distinctly anti-Apple. For so many reasons but they may have been an argument with a Macbook.

          Kath no one would dare excommunicate you. Looking forward to your blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          1. If you mean the hints tomorrow it’s not me – it’s pommers – I’ll just be sitting back and drinking coffee . . .

            1. Oh blimey. I ‘know’ that. I despair of myself sometimes. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

              Enjoy your morning coffee/solve.

  7. Thank you Jay, an enjoyable puzzle which didn’t cause any problems. 27a reminded me of drilling on the square at Fulwood Barracks many years ago ! I remember one of the RSM’s more complementary comments – “You’re like a lot of bleedin ballet dancers”. Thanks 2Kiwis for your hints and review.

  8. Probably one of the easiest crossword for a long time. Now that I have done both toughie and back page, I can’t have an excuse not to clean up my terrasse.
    Some great sounding clues. Lovely surface.
    Hard to pick a favourite but I will settle for 5d.
    Thanks to 2kiwis and to Jay.

  9. Enjoyable start to the day. Used the wrong anagram indicator for 1a until I got 6d. **/***

  10. Well done, 2Kiwis, on deciphering the Quickie pun. All I could come up with was ‘the great winds’ which didn’t make a great deal of sense.

    1. Thanks from me too. I can now stop muttering Three words over and over and over again.

      1. If you say the words in a Spanish accent it works much better…..I think I’ve got too much time on my hands at the moment.

      2. I was trying for something to do with ‘trade winds’ – thank goodness for salvation courtesy of 2K’s.
        By the way, MP – most impressed by your newly gained knowledge of cassava plantations. Conversations across the bar at The Green Man may reach dizzying new heights. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. I got the ‘twins’ part but kept saying ‘Thackeray twins’? No…I don’t know why either.

    2. You would not believe how close we were to putting in “The Great Wen” as the nearest we could get. So glad we persevered. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  11. I agree with 3* and 4*. Might have been a 2* difficulty but for the last few answers – it’s always like that on Wednesdays.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 1a so didn’t get that for a while and the same with 7d which was my last but one answer.
    I made the same mistake as dutch with 19d which meant I couldn’t do 17 or 22a until I began to smell a rat!
    I’ve discovered a couple more things that make me go blind – American space missions and Second World War conferences.
    The hidden answer in 6d wasn’t today! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    I liked 1 and 13a and 2 and 3d. My favourite was 22a but mainly because it made me laugh – last time our Lambs were home for the weekend the elder one was doing a quick crossword – cue for pathetic screams of, “Mum, help, I’m stuck”. The clue was “Of the nose” – she’d only put “nosey”! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    Enough rabbiting – thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

      1. Some years ago I boarded a flight to Rome, and discovered that my seat was next to the Pope himself! He was already engrossed in the Telegraph Cryptic crossword, so I quietly sat down and started on my own copy.

        When I’d finished he turned to me and said “I’m stuck on 5d. It’s four letters, the last three are UNT and it’s clear that the meaning is ‘always feminine’. What’s your answer?”.

        “Your Holiness, I have AUNT”, I replied.

        “Of course!” smiled the Pope. “Do you have a rubber that I might borrow?”.


    1. Brilliant – thanks – I’ve never seen that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      It really is just what it’s like being in our kitchen if the Lambs are trying to do a crossword – I’ve given up trying to interest them in cryptics – can anyone blame me?

    2. The only reason I remembered it is because it is mentioned in Alan Connor’s book, Two Girls, One on Each Knee (see here) which Mr Kitty bought me. So thanks are really due to him :).

  12. As always a very enjoyable puzzle from Jay ,,, last one in and favourite 6d – well hidden!

    (The last person who left a horse racing tip on this blog left me short of money … however, today’s tip is No 2 in the 1:30 at Cheltenham – to be found somewhere in today’s excellent Toughie from Micawber.)

    ps. I notice that the compiler in today’s Guardian is Vlad – is it HIM?

  13. Particularly straightforward for a Jay – well I thought so anyway when I didn’t have to ‘start with the Downs’. Thanks to him and the 2Ks.

    As Franco says, the toughie is excellent too, if not particularly you-know-what.

  14. ***/****+

    Mmmm. Very delicious.

    Last in was 5d. When the answer clicked I uttered that immortal phrase ‘Oh for….’! The reason being I sorted mine out yesterday.

    22a had to looked up. Nope didn’t see 6d but by some miracle I did actually know 23d.

    Favourite goes to 6d with 19d getting a mention.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwi’s for your usual exemplary blog.

    Temperatures are reaching tropical levels here. I can point out that the sea is still painfully cold though. I went for a paddle this morning.

  15. Where has my brain gone? In its place is just a headache and distractions. If I want to wake up with a sore head I will at least enjoy a few drinkies the night before. Grr! The few awake cells did prove sufficient to complete the crossword, albeit slowly, with just one little Google to confirm that I hadn’t invented 23d.

    Like Kath it took me a while to spot the 1a and 7d anagrams. Unlike Kath, I did not see 6d easily. It was my last in, falling only once 1a had given me the V (so to speak). Maybe I too caught the lurker blindness at Little Venice! Don’t you dare feel bad though, Kath – it was well worth it to meet you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

    Quite early on I had an enjoyable time trying to work out if 17a could possibly be gardeners, and was pleased when I found some reading matter instead. 27a had me foxed for ages for some reason. I keep changing my mind about a favourite, but rather than risk the wrath of Kath and have many I shall take advantage of being under no obligation to have any.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the Kiwis for the review.

  16. Thought I was in for a rough ride having completely missed the anagram indicator at 1a. Spent some time trying to get an anagram out of ‘porter tips R’.
    The word I was trying to justify at 24a turned out to be the answer for 22a – how weird is that! Yes, Kath – the clue for 22a made me smile.
    The answer for 6d went in long before I discovered it was hidden in the clue – no wonder I was struggling to parse it!
    Shouldn’t really pick a favourite as there are so many contenders, but I did rather like the wording of the clue at 16d. 2*/4* overall.

    Very many thanks to Jay and also to 2K’s for the beautifully illustrated review.

  17. I was surprised to see the rating today, I thought this was very straightforward but immensely enjoyable.
    Thx to all

    1. Brian, I hope you don’t mind me saying but your comments are getting more and more mellow of late, which I find disappointing.
      I am a regular follower of your comments and look for them first when reading the comments list.

  18. Another doable crossword for us this week. I feel we’re being spoiled and tomorrow we will come down to earth with a bang. Thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  19. I’ve enjoyed this week too. **/**** here. Would have been one * but for getting stuck on the sw corner and as ever on 6d. A lightbulb moment when I finally got 6d. Very clever.
    Thanks to the setter and the Kiwis.

  20. All went well until the NE area when I failed totally to spot 6d. (I am so pleased I am not alone – when the electronics suggested the answer I thought it suddenly looked so obvious I would be the only one.) Has to be my favourite clue. 3* / 4* for me. Thanks Jay and thank you to the 2Ks.

  21. Bit of a slow start today but once in gear I picked up momentum and crossed the finishing line with a jump start from the 2Ks. ***/**** for me today. Thanks to 2Ks for the review.

  22. Very enjoyable puzzle from Jay today. Lots of really good clues today so it’s difficult to try and choose a favourite. Amongst the front runners I have 27a and 23d, but my favourite (and last one in) is 5d. Oh and 6d deserves a mention too.

    So thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review.

  23. That was a treat! Like the Kiwis, the top few were the last in, but the rest just slotted in nicely. I have an advantage as I can remember the meeting at Yalta, such excitement with the war over.
    I enjoyed many, but I think fave has to be 6d, loved 16d and 19d as well. I had to look up 3d as I had never heard of it.
    Thanks 2Kiwis for the lovely review, excellent picture at 7d, where is that? I also enjoyed your waxing poetic at the start! Thanks to Jay, too, for the great puzzle.

  24. Thanks to the setter for a good morning’s puzzle. But my happy bubble was rather burst when I found so many found it easy! Loved the pics, 2Kiwis, and thanks for the hints. As your trip over gets closer, are you of the “I need to pack in good time”, or “Throw it all in a case any which way a few minutes before departure” travellers? (You don’t have to answer!). Mr P and I are one of each, but I’m not saying which http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. A much doable and entertaining solve for today. Got 6d but completely missed the hidden clue as Jane did – so was not the only one! Lots of clever clues but my favourite was 27a. I agree with 3*/4*. Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for an entertaining review, not needed but much enjoyed nevertheless.

  26. Another instance of the bark being worse than the bite. I managed the West followed by East without hints but with a bung-in element particularly in 6d. Fav probably 5d. Thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis. We have had 2 beautiful Springlike days so the lawn even got a trim to beat the forecast return of wind and rain. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  27. After a slow start it all came together. 3*/4*.

    I thought the account in 25a was tally rather than tale.

    Thanks very much to the setter and 2K for the entertaining review.

    I am with Wayne on being disappointed at Brian’s recent mellowness!

  28. Good morning everyone. Looks like we had it all pretty much sorted again. It is quite an act of faith to press the “schedule” button in the middle of our afternoon and trust that it will all magically appear, thanks to Big Dave expertise, in the middle of the night while we are fast asleep. Cheers.

  29. I found it slightly tricky but doable. Missing the anagram indicator for 1a didn’t help.Things took off when that was sorted.I can’t decide which is my favourite, 13a or 27a.Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  30. Having read 2Kiwis comment I did my usual trick and started from the bottom and found it a delightful solve. My brain must have been the right up just for once and my trusty pencil remained unchallenged by the anagrams they just leapt off the page at me. I have a lovely new box of tissues all ready for tomorrow as Thursday is my stumbling block BUT perhaps tomorrow will be different, I will be able to sail through and not have to retire to the cupboard under the stairs. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for making me a very happy old lady. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Hilary, you don’t have to go to the cupboard under the stairs whatever the crossword is like! If you wish though, you are welcome to join me in my corner. No need to bring your own tissues as I’m well-stocked and happy to provide them should you need. But hopefully that won’t be necessary.

      Well done today, by the way. You were probably faster than I was :).

  31. Very enjoyable and just a little tricky, pitched a just the right level for me.

    Onwards and upward – I won 7 and 6 today, 43 points – a personal record – I’ve submitted my card and hope for a Handicap cut! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  32. Now I’ll try again – just wrote lots about this having been a good fun day and thanking Jay and the 2Kiwis. Tried to post comment but it wouldn’t let me – can’t help wondering what I’ve done wrong . . .
    Anyway – I often think how lucky I am to be part of such a wonderful blog so just thought I would say so. Thanks to all the people who make me laugh every day – above all thanks to BD for thinking it all up and for keeping everything running like clockwork. I have no idea how much time that takes but I suspect it’s rather a lot and probably more than we all think. A http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to him.

  33. An earlier post from me tonight as I’ve been working with trainees to teach them the finer points of the dark arts. I may even not be the last one in! Good fun from Jay, particularly liked 27a. Now to do homework for tomorrow morning’s radio – which I should have done before the crossword, but somehow the lure of the puzzle and the blog get in the way of late-night work. I may regret this at 9am when I’m supposed to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Thanks to K-squared for the review, Jay for the gentle challenge and Kitty for the Two Ronnies (that used to be used as a coded reference to something that pecks holes in your milk-bottle tops where I came from)

    1. On a completely unrelated note, many, many congratulations to my friend, colleague and fellow Spurs fanatic Andrew Norfolk for his two (count them) major commendation as at the Press Awards last night. Thanks largely to him – and not at all to me – I am again proud to work for the Newspaper of the Year (shame about the crosswords, though)

  34. Thanks to Jay, and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay. It’s amazing, that all my life, I thought 1a was spelt and pronounced perogative. Mrs Malaprop or what :-) I live and learn. Favourite was 21d. Last in was 6d, a well hidden word. Was 2*/4* for me.

  35. ****/****. quite tough for me but immensely rewarding. Thanks to the setter for a real challenge and to the 2Ks for an excellent review.

  36. At last, Ive finally had time to catch up! Jay at his usual ingenious best I feel. Good clues everywhere, I liked 17a best and that is my favourite. 2*/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

  37. Well, nobody has mentioned 22a where “noy” means “curious”.
    Which dictionary has this definition? I cannot find one!

    1. Thanks to both. I used “ages” instead of “age” and got my NOY instead of NOSY. Silly Billy!
      The good news is that I now Know all about NOY.

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